A CONVERTED railway goods shed has been publicly acclaimed as a shining example of good design.
The Goods Shed at Canterbury West Station was chosen by Kent's design champion Piers Gough for the first ever Kent Design Champion Award at the annual Kent Building Design Awards.
Owner Susanna Atkins has turned the building into a restaurant and farmers’ market, leaving much of the interior brickwork and roof timbers exposed. It provides a popular community focus on the edge of the city centre.
Mr Gough presented the accolade at Canterbury Cathedral International Study Centre on Thursday.
He said the Victorian building now had a "lovely charm" as if it had been purpose-built for a farmers’ market.
He praised the sensitivity of its design and respect for the building’s original construction. It had not been over-designed, he said.
Mr Gough added that Kent would be a "hot ticket" in coming years. He forecast that the county was about to go "astronomic" as completion of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and high speed train links transformed its public image.
The award for the Town and Village Renaissance scheme was won for the second year running by the Horsebridge and Brownings Yard at Whitstable.
The Old Gymnasium in Deal Cavalry Barracks won the Building Renovation category.
Affordable village housing in Ash Grove, St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe, near Dover, was judged Best New Neighbourhood in Housebuilding.
Kent County Council’s amenity block at Trosley Country Park, near Gravesend, won the Public Buildings category.
Kings Hill town centre was judged the best shopping scheme in Commercial, Industrial and Retail category.
Iden Farm Cottage, Boughton Monchelsea, near Maidstone, received a special award in Housebuilding.
Graham Gibbens, KCC cabinet member for regeneration and supporting independence, said: "These awards showcase the very best design for building in Kent today.
"They set a high standard for architects and designers to follow across a wide range of projects for places where people will want to live, work and play in Kent."